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sorts of Grace (or rather Grace conversant about two sorts of Objects) in God. The One Gimply Beoeficent, the other Merciful too. The first of thele, which is Purely Beneficent, , is that which God had from Ever. lafting in himself towards the Creature,even before his being so, when he had yet no Existence but in the Eternal Wisdom of Him, who calleth things that are not as tho' they were, Rom. 4. 17. For from his Grace, as well as to his Glory, and for his pleafure all things are and were Created, or which he in time exercis’d to the Creature actually produc'd into Being, and still remaining lanocent and therefore Happy. The Other which is more than barely Beneficent, including Mercy as well as Love, is Thac which God makes use of towards the Crea. ture finful, and consequently Miserable. For all the Good that the Almighty Goodness affords the most Pure and most Holy, the Brightest and Perfectest Being in Earth or Heaven is of free Grace, fince He owes them Nothing of all that He gives, and They on the contrary Owe wholly and entirely to Him whacfoever they receive. That which plac'd the Angels in Heaven, thar admits them to so near access to his Person and the full Contemplation of his Glory, that maintains them in their Original In. tegrity, and honours them with the Con
fidence of his secrets, and the immediate Execution of his Commands, is nothing else but Grace, fince nothing without himself could oblige him to raise those Blessed Spirits to that height and excellence of Glory, which renders them the first and most noble Intelligences of the whole Creation. That which madę Man but little Lower than the Angels, and Crown'd him with Glory and Honour, that by which God feated Adam in Paradise, and gave him Dominion over the Works of his Hands, that which constituted him his Representative, and made him as it were a Visible God upon Earth, was meer Grace, since it was in God's Power and wholly at his free disposal, whether he would at all produce him out of Nothing, or if he were pleas’d to do so far, whether he would raise him to fo great Dignity, or place him in the Rank even of the meanest of those Creatures which he put under his Feet. And should Adam have perfever'd in that original Righteousness wherein he was Created, yet all the Happiness he would have then poffefs’d,would have been nothing else but Grace, since he ow'd not only all he had, but all that he was, to God, and could receive nothing from Him, but as a Gift from his undeferved Bounty. But still this would not have been Mercy, since Man never having offended God, God could have
to do fofof Nothing,
place hild raise him
had no occasion of exercising that Divineft Perfe&ion, the very Crown of all the Blessed Attributes in the Deity, that most sweet and liberal and tender and amiable Goodness that delights in forgiving Sinners, Divines therefore have distinguish'd Grace into Creating and Saving Grace. Creating Grace is that by which God has given å Being to the Angels, with all the incomparable Privileges belonging to their Heavenly Nature, and Life to Man, with all the glorious Prerogatives with which he was at first invelted. Saving Grace is that by which he raises us from our Fall, has given us his Son, cooferrs upon us his Spirit, pardons our Offences, and brings us to his Kiog. dom.
As we cannot sufficiently value, nor by thought conceive, nor by words express this inestimable Saving Grace ; so we cannot without horror and shame and confusion of Face reflect, how soon God's first Creating Grace was repay'd by his Creatures with Apoftacy and Rebellion, and as a juft Consequence of that, how soon that Noble Creature, whom he had made but a little lower than the Angels, was reduc'd to a Condition much worse than that of the Beasts that periff. Diverted of all Original Righteous. neis, darken'd in his Understanding, Perverse in his Will, disorder'd in his Affecti
I ons, a Captive and Slave to the Dominia
on of Sin and the Tyranny of Satan, ob.
noxious to all the Miseries and Evils of this s prefent Life, and, what is the molt dread
ful of all; juftly hateful to God, and the Object of his Insupportable Wrath, and by that concluded under the Sentence of Ever.
lafting Death, and the Torments of Hell a to all Eternity. This was the fad Eftate not
of Our First Father only, but of all Us his the numerous and wretched Offspring. And in
this most deplorable Condition, when we i lay, like Ezekiel's wretched Infant, pollated
in our Blood, when no Eye pity'd Us, then po this Saving Grace, this Love of God pass'd
by Us, and said unto Us, Live, yea said unto
Us, when we were in our Blood, Live, Ezek. i 16. 5,6: Which shews, how far this Good
ness of Redemption surpasses that of Creaü tion. In the Creation indeed there was no
Object to invite, much less to deferve, but neither was there any thing to hinder or obftru&t the Divine Goodness. Tho' there was no Worth, there was no Unworthiness. But the Object of Redeeming Grace was the Wretched and Unworthy. There was not only in our Nature an Abfence of all Good, that might move the Divine Com. paflion, but there was a positive Malignity against that God that should pardon, against that Cbrift that should satisfy, againit that
Holy Spirit that should apply both that Sa tisfaction and Pardon: Peradventure for A Good Man, says St. Paul, fome would even dare to dye. Rom. 5.7. But God commendeth his Love towards us, in that while we were get Sinners, Christ died for us, the Righteous for the Vngodly, v. 8. We were in open Hoftility and Rebellion against God, yet even then, says the same Apoftle, when we were Enemies we were reconcil'd to God by the Death of bis Son, Rom. 5.10. Our Saviour tells us truly, Greater Love hath no Man shewa than this, that a Man lay down his Life for bis
Friends, Joh, 19. 13.But behold a greater than Manis here, and consequently a greater Love than Man's Love, a Love that lays down its Life for its Enemies. Here is Love, not that we loved God, but that He loved Vs, and sent bis Son to be a Propitiation for our Sins, i John 4, io. This is a Love so far exceeding all that was ever calld by that Name, that St. Paul himself, even when he prays for the Ephesians, that they may be able to com prebend the breadth and length and height of the Love of God in Chrift, yet is forc'd immediately to subjoin, which paseth all Know ledge, Eph. 3. 19. This is that ineffable, that unconceivable Grace, which is in God, and which is God. For it is this that firit moy'd God to Create and then to Redeem the World, and since God is by all confessd to be the